BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Mozilla's recently-released "Internet Health Report" is a fascinating look at the politics and technology behind our contemporary broadband nettworks. This story, on the "Power of Cities," highlights the role of grass-roots activism in response to the Federal Communications Commission's decision, in December 2017, to lift Obama-era net neutrality rules.
Spotlight: The power of cities, from Mozilla's Internet Health Report:
When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States backed away from protecting net neutrality in 2018, a network of city mayors formed to use their combined purchasing power to support internet providers who continued upholding net neutrality.
“In NYC alone, we spend over $600 million annually to provide internet service to city employees and to offer city services. So, we convened an ad hoc coalition, starting with eight cities committed to only purchasing from broadband providers that honor net neutrality principles. Now, this coalition is over 130 cities,” says Max Sevilia, the Director of External Affairs for the NYC Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer.
This story and many others are highlighted in a publication called the New York City Internet Health Report. Its creator, Meghan McDermott, adapted the format of the global Internet Health Report as part of a Mozilla fellowship project to explore among other things how cities can be strong advocates for digital rights by nurturing relationships with civic tech communities.